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WW2 GM INLAND M1A1 Paratrooper assault rifle

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Owner, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. Owner

    Owner Member

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    Hey guys i have what i seem to have found to be an inland mfg division, M1A1 paratrooper assault rifle. Value,history and any other info about it is much appreciated..also sorry for the terrible pics but its the best i can do given my current camera situation..try to glean what you can

    (P.S) big hello to everyone at the highroad community and i hope my stay here will be pleasant.
     

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  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    There are thousands of carbines around with new-made M1A1 stocks being passed off as original M1A1 carbines at very fancy prices. From those very bad pictures it is impossible to tell if the stock is correct or not. If you can use something besides a cell phone and provide better pictures we can probably help you.

    (Oddly, the most recent Italian-made copies of the stock are well made and have much better wood than the originals.)

    BTW, please do NOT call the carbine an "assault rifle". The anti-gun gangsters have enough ammunition now and are calling everything an "assault weapon"; we don't need to give them more ammo by using the term inappropriately ourselves.

    Jim
     
  3. Owner

    Owner Member

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    Any info appreciated... Google really isn't being my friend in this situation...
     
  4. Owner

    Owner Member

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    Thats the only camera i have is there any things i should look for specifically to determine its authenticity?
     
  5. Owner

    Owner Member

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    i was able to get Google to cooperate and it seems that the gun is 100% original with all matching s/n's...the serial number matches the production runs and the stock is legit.. with all correct proof markings and stampings...
    general motors corp inland division DEC 1944

    i can not, however find any values for this gun so if there is anyone that can help me i would appreciate it.
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    An original Inland* M1A1 carbine in the approximate serial number range for a genuine paratrooper rifle and without upgrades can run nearly to $5000. If upgraded with an adjustable rear sight (which yours has) and/or a bayonet lug, the value would drop to around $3500; less of course as condtiion goes down, with $1500 and $1000 respectively about bottom for a decent carbine. Of course that is for an original M1A1 stock with the proper markings and proper rivets.

    *Only Inland originally made M1A1 carbines; the Army put folding stocks on some other makes, but there is no way of telling those from GI stocks put on by civilians.

    Jim
     
  7. Owner

    Owner Member

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    Thanks a ton Jim! it does have a bayonet lug,and of course adjustable sights..are these two items aftermarket? did they not issue them with those attached? it was my understanding that they did,in the later days of manufacture,attach the drift adjustable sights on this weapon...I am ,of course, not the expert here but thats just what i heard from a little research.
    EDIT: sorry for calling it an Assault Rifle,you are correct that term is in no way relevant to this gun...
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    After the adjustable sights and bayonet lug were standardized, they were put on those carbines still in production and were shipped to all units using carbines so unit armorers could install them as replacements. That was close to the end of WWII, and not all carbines were changed. But those missed were upgraded after the war in the depots. Very few were missed unless they had in some way been out of Army possession (usually meaning "stolen") before the upgrades were done. So unmodified carbines are scarce, but being in original condition, bring more money on the collectors' market.

    Some folks try to "restore" upgraded carbines to the original configuration, but almost all the parts available are reproduction, easy to spot, and hurt, not help, the value.

    Jim
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You have to be careful about assuming that the para stock is not an aftermarket copy. There were many unscrupulous dealers that marked stocks to drive the price up. Their positions on the stocks tend to give them away. Look at closeup of CMP auction guns so you can get an idea of the locations and appearance of the markings.

    Your best bet is to take it out in bright sunlight and photograph it so that you're not dependent upon artificial lighting. You get better color as well as brightness with it laying out in the daylight.
     
  10. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Assault rifle....jeeze [​IMG]
     
  11. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Reading Canfield all the WWII paras were Inlands, and most probably should have a "L" flip sight and Type I (no bayonet lug) front bands.

    After the war, carbines went to Depot level armorers. Which looked a lot like GIs peeling spuds. They took them apart to whatever level they were told, the parts went into bins by type. Then, the parts were sorted through on a pass/no pass basis, then passed forward for reassembly. Weapons not having adjustable sights were given them. Type one bands replaced with Type two, magazine and safety catches changed to push-button and rotating, respectively.

    This occurred again during KW, too. And after, for SE Asia.

    Very few Carbine parts were serial numbered (given the number of subcontractors, a logistical nightmare), so "matching" numbers is a red flag of enormous proportions. Without some provenance from a named paratroop, and some supporting documentation showing how this carbine got from WWII to a dealer table, it's worth $800, maybe $900.

    The good reproduction folding stocks even include the cast-in part number on the butt plate. Some of those now sport cartouches, too. That would be the good ones. I can remember, as late as the 70s, surplus stores with nail kegs and barrels of the surplussed stocks, usually for 75¢ - dollar each, and as-is, equal parts cosmoline and rust.

    Now, if the seller will admit that the previous owner restored the parts in an "as delivered" fashion (i.e. matched contractor markings), that's different. That's worth some cash if that's what the buyer wants (does have some cachet for me, when done well, I'll admit)--hundred or two more for me. But, selling it as genuine "as carried" WWII Paratrooper? Yeah sure, and I've got James Dean's other Porche for sale, cheap.
     
  12. Owner

    Owner Member

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    I will try to get some better pics up ASAP so that you guys can better help me....if you don't think it's a real m1a1 now ,wait till you hear how i acquired it:p
     
  13. Owner

    Owner Member

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    The numbers stamped into the stock are pretty faint so idk how well they will come out in a photo,the serials on the gun are right as rain for the time of production,also the rivets on the stock are correct.
     
  14. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Which is a good thing, if you want that.
    Trouble is, not all the weapons went Factory->Army->Trooper.
    Many went Factory->Army->Ordinance Dept->Regiment->Trooper.
    Quite a few went Regiment->Trooper->Regiment->Trooper, etc.
    Some also went Regiment->Trooper->Trooper->Trooper->Company->Trooper

    Some of the DCM-papered Carbines were thoroughly mix-mastered, IBM upper handguards over Rockola stocks with WRA barrels in Standard recievers.

    The parts are all out there. Many--the folding stocks--have been out there fifty years. A person, if they found an Inland with intact "L" flip sight, could match parts together to make a weapon that would look just like one that left the Inland Factory in 43', '44 or '45--and none of us would be any the wiser.

    Other than the fact that there are now more folding stock Carbines out there than Inland ever made. "Surplus" guys knocked them together by the dozen.
    So, a "real" one (meaning with documentation and/or provenance) is as rare as an actual WWII M1C or M1D. Or, put another way, as far too common as 'genuine' Marine M1903A4's or "tanker" Garands.

    I'm not trying to wet blanket you--you probably have a real gem, and a man-made diamond is still a diamond (no matter what deBeers would have you believe).

    I just don't want you to think you have a $3000 gem when you really have a $990 one. You might very well have a $1050 gem and not $900, too. And, you are still better off than having a $400 Universal dressed up as an $800 cinderella.
     
  15. PokeyOkie

    PokeyOkie Member

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    Best way to tell if the stock is original is to look inside. and under the pivot on the grip for an 'IO' stamp. There's sometimes the ordnance stamp on the stock as well. Because that. 'IO' is inside, it doesn't wear and should be quite distinct.
    [​IMG]


    Carl
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I don't think it is all that hard to tell a genuine M1A1 stock from a repro and I have seen plenty of both. It is easy to tell a flip sight replacement if you know what to look at, even if the sight is genuine.

    Jim
     
  17. kward

    kward Member

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    Hi, I have read this thread and still have a few questions. Sorry for being so stupid! I'm getting ready to buy a M1A1 for about $2800.00, what is the most important thing to look for? The stock is of high wood and the serial number is 886XXX. From what I can find no one has a serial number list for the M1A1 and I have read that the stock is the most important part. How do I tell if the stock is a real one? And maybe someone out there has a serial number list. Thank you for any help from anyone. Kerry
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The first thing to look at on an M1A1 stock is the rivets on the leather. If there is a hole all the way through or a hole on both sides, the rivets are modern rivets, and the chances are that the stock is modern. The original rivets were brake lining rivets, unmarked; the inside is rolled over. Replacement rivets used in rebuilding stocks at the depots were sometimes marked 5/4. Rivets marked 5-4 are not GI. Go to:
    http://www.rivetsinstock.com/rivets/brake-clutch-rivets.html and take a look at the rivet there; it yours doesn't look pretty much like that, it is wrong.

    Also, some repro stocks have Philips head screws; originals did not. The buttplate should have a number B257614 cast (not stamped) into the inside. Some fakes have a stamped number; I have not seen one with it cast in, but can't say there are none.

    BTW, some of the Italian repro stocks are very nice, and in fact have much better quality wood and with much better finish than the originals. That itself is a tip off, a case of the imitation being too good.

    Jim
     
  19. kward

    kward Member

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    Thank you very much Jim. I didnt look at the rivit head but the bottom is rolled, like someone had it is a block and as they hit the top it nicely was rounded or rolled not flat and smashed. I didnt see a hole through them.

    On the buttplate it did have the numbers, I didnt take note of what they were but the were not stamped.

    I guess I need to take it apart because I didnt see any markings but it is an older one with the high wood.
     
  20. kward

    kward Member

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    Is the wood cut out on the left side of the first run or are there just marks from the stock rubbing when folded?
     
  21. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The wood is inletted.
     
  22. kward

    kward Member

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    Thank you. So if I understand you, on the left side of a correct stock below the bolt it should have the section were the leather part of the folding stock would sit. They are not just scratched? Once again thank you for your help. There is so much to learn about these and to many people out there wanting to make a buck. Kerry
     
  23. Clermont

    Clermont Member

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    One way to tell if an M1A1 stock is a reproduction is that on the back of original M1A1 buttplates, cast into the steel, is the drawing number B297614*. The asterisk being in a circle. Reproduction stocks lack this drawing number. Only Inland produced M1A1 carbines. There were two production runs of M1A1s. The first run was from November 1942 to October 1943, in the 200000-900000 serial number range, and the stocks were of the "high wood" type which would later be modified to the "low wood" type during rebuild. The pistol grip had a rectangular profile. There should be an OI stamping on the inside bottom of the wood stock where the front of the operating slide is located. The second run was from May 1944 to December 1944. The stock was of the "low wood" type and the front of the pistol grip was curved. The OI mark in the stock would also be present. This marking means the Overton Co. made the stock for Inland. The Inland M1 barreled actions that were assembled to M1A1 stocks weren't marked in any way other than the standard markings found on M1 carbines. It is impossible to tell an original or rebuilt M1A1 carbine from one that was assembled from an original M1A1 stock and an Inland barreled action. The only Inland serial numbers that would be incorrect would be those that fall outside the two production run dates for M1A1 stocks or an Inland serial numbered receiver that was produced during the first production run of M1A1 stocks on a second production run M1A1 stock or an Inland serial numbered receiver that was produced during the second production run of M1A1 stocks on a first production run M1A1 stock. Any receiver not manufactured by Inland would be incorrect.
     
  24. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Depends on how much effort the seller/manufacturer goes to. With all the WW2 stuff from all sides being collectible these days, there's a profit motive for the unscrupulous to slide over from reproduction to counterfeit
     
  25. kward

    kward Member

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    Thank you Clermont, what I'm looking at is one with serial number 186XXX. I know the gun has been rebuilt at least once so I'm not to worried about the gun. Also the metal parts of the stock are real. It's the wood itself that is in question. There is no IO mark inside or any where else for that matter. In fact the only mark on the wood is on the pistol grip and that one is not the "FAT BOY" as it should be for a 1st run gun. So I guess I should walk away because there are no marks. One thing that is making me think its real and is very strange is that it is "HIGH WOOD". Also the left side of the stock where the leather would rest against is not cut out like I have seen on other ones, or not as much. I could understand the markings being gone from the outside if the stock was refinished but not under the receiver inside. Thanks for any more help!
     
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